Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Representing God

Time and again the question of evil arises to the forefront of discussion about the existence of God. The popular question levied against the Christian theist is “How could God exist if there is so much evil in the world?”

The questioner typically fails to realize that they are presupposing the Christian worldview in order to posit the question. To acknowledge the existence of evil is to acknowledge the existence of good. One has to presuppose that good and evil exist and can be differentiated between. Moreover, one has to believe that good is better than evil in order to charge God with derelict of duty.

The question truly is how is it possible to ask this question without first accepting God’s existence? And if you then accept God’s existence, what is being asked? Truly one is asking about the nature of God. People aren’t so interested in loving a God who causes suffering or withholds His power to end suffering. Surely if this God of the Christians is a good God this world would not look so bad.

There are many today who do not have a Christian worldview and honestly do not know this God of which we speak. They can only hear what we say through their worldview and their assumptions of His non-existence. We are not even on the same playing field. We say “God” and they think of a judgmental vindictive Deity that sits back and ignores the worlds suffering. We say “Jesus” with the full knowledge of whom we speak and they only know the wimp of a man portrayed in mass media.

We must communicate the fullness of who God reveals Himself to be. All of creation points to His glory. All of history testifies of the Christ who is to come and who came and is to come again. We must communicate and example the love God has for mankind. We must show His heart of compassion for those who suffer. He knows full well of our suffering as His Son suffered as a man so that He could reconcile us to Himself which is the only answer for the worlds suffering. Because of His never ending love, He does not force us to love Him and thus the suffering in the world continues because mankind chooses to go our own way instead of the way that is everlasting life. We must allow the heart of the Father to be revealed through us to a suffering world. If we as Christians communicate judgment and harshness that is what people will think of our God.

I am reminded of when the religious leaders of Jesus day caught a woman in adultery and prepared to stone her. Jesus responded, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Jesus, being without sin, could have invoked judgment against her, and yet He did not for Jesus had the heart of the Father. Jesus never did anything He didn’t see His Father doing and His Father wasn’t throwing any stones toward this woman.

Our lives are living testimonies of God’s character and when we act out of accordance with His nature we misrepresent God to a watching world. If every Christian did what we saw our Father doing and only said what we heard Him say because we have been transformed into the likeness of His Son, these accusations against His character would come to an end. We must be His witnesses in all we do, giving testimony of His everlasting love and goodness.

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